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Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology: Michael Hauptmann


Michael Hauptmann, Ph.D.Group leader

About Michael Hauptmann

The Biostatistics group in the Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology concentrates on methodological and statistical research and is closely involved with several international epidemiological studies on cancer incidence and exposure to radiation and chemicals. The group also runs the Biostatistics Center which provides statistical expertise to investigators in both the Netherlands Cancer Institute as well as the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital on diverse topics from all areas of biomedical cancer research.

Risk of cancer following ionizing radiation exposure

In a large retrospective cohort study of children who underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan, we evaluate subsequent risk of cancer due to the radiation exposure. The study is part of the European EPI-CT consortium. The statistical analyses of the pooled European studies on CT scan-related radiation exposure will be performed by the Biostatistics group.

Within a large international consortium, we investigate the effects of therapeutic radiation exposure and chemotherapy on gastrointestinal cancers among survivors of cancer at various sites. The analysis is based on a series of case-control studies nested in a large cohort and employs individual radiation dosimetry.

Health effects of exposure to formaldehyde

The group has been closely involved in two major epidemiological studies on formaldehyde and cancer, namely the US National Cancer Institute cohort of industrial workers and the US embalmers study. Both studies have contributed in a major way to reconsiderations of the carcinogenicity of formaldehyde by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), US regulatory bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the European Commission. In 2012, we have completed the analysis of solid cancer mortality in an update of the cohort of industrial workers. Other formaldehyde-related research includes a meta-analysis of cytogenetic studies and the evaluation of effects of the timing of exposure to formaldehyde. The analyses are done in close collaboration with the US National Cancer Institute.

Evaluating latency of chronic exposures

If exposure data in an epidemiologic study are available as an exposure history (e.g., annual average intensities) are available, a latency function can be estimated describing the relative risk per unit exposure by time since exposure, i.e., latency (Hauptmann et al. 2000). As an example, consider lung cancer mortality and occupational exposure to radon gas from a study of Colorado Plateau Uranium Miners (Hauptmann et al. 2001). Click here for EPICURE code for fitting latency models using B-splines for case-control data (conditional/unconditional logistic regression) or cohort data (Cox regression).

Basic Medical Statistics Course

The Biostatistics group offers the "Basic Medical Statistics Course" annually. This full week course explains statistical techniques for the evaluation of biomedical data. It provides an introduction into design aspects, methods of summarizing and presenting data, estimation, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, including multivariable regression methods for the assessment of association. For more information, click here.


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José Meulepas MSc

Ph.D. student


Jose Meulepas obtained a Master of Science degree in Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health from Wageningen University in 2008. From a background in nutritional epidemiology, she developed an interest in cancer epidemiology and worked at the Comprehensive Cancer Centre of The Netherlands as a junior researcher on the project 'Predicting the future cancer burden of the Netherlands'. Since 2011, Jose is involved in the project 'Cancer risk due to radiation exposure from pediatric computed tomography' as a PhD student. The main goal is to assess the excess risk of leukemia from radiation exposure due to CT scans in a cohort of children. Other research interests are nutritional epidemiology and descriptive cancer epidemiology.

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Dr. Patrycja Gradowska

Postdoctoral fellow


Dr. Patrycja Gradowska obtained her PhD from the Department of Applied Mathematics of Delft University of Technology in 2013. For her dissertation, she developed mathematical methods and tools for assessing and managing human health benefits and risks from chemicals in food. She then became a postdoctoral researcher at the Netherlands Cancer Institute evaluating radiation-related risk of cancer following pediatric computed tomography examinations within the EPI-CT consortium ( As part of her work, Dr. Gradowska also provides statistical advice to doctors and other researchers in the Institute and the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital.

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Dr. Katarzyna Jozwiak



Dr. Katarzyna Jozwiak obtained a Master's degree in Applied Mathematics from Delft University in 2008, and in Econometrics and Computer Science from the University of Zielona Góra, Poland, in 2009. As a graduate student in Applied Statistics at Utrecht University, she investigated optimal designs of trials with discrete-time survival endpoints and completed her PhD in 2013. After a brief period as software developer at Utrecht University, Dr. Jozwiak joined the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, where she is a statistical consultant for clinicians and other researchers of the Institute and the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital.

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Heemsbergen, Wilma

Dr. Wilma Heemsbergen



Dr. Wilma D. Heemsbergen studied Biomedical Health Sciences at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (1988-1995). Since 1998, she works at the Department of Radiotherapy and she is also a member of the Biostatistics group of the Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology since 2009. Dr. Heemsbergen obtained a PhD degree from the Medical Faculty of the University of Amsterdam in 2008. Her thesis was about the risks and benefits of modern conformal radiation treatment in prostate cancer. She is registered since 2008 as a senior researcher in the field of epidemiology.


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Recent publications View All Publications

  • Increased pancreatic cancer risk following radiotherapy for testicular cancer.

    Br J Cancer. 2016 Sep 27;115(7):901-8. doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.272

    Hauptmann M, Børge Johannesen T, Gilbert ES, Stovall M, van Leeuwen FE, Rajaraman P, Smith SA, Weathers RE, Aleman BM, Andersson M,...

    Link to PubMed
  • Ovarian Stimulation for In Vitro Fertilization and Long-term Risk of Breast Cancer

    JAMA. 2016 Jul 19;316(3):300-12. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.9389.

    van den Belt-Dusebout AW, Spaan M, Lambalk CB, Kortman M, Laven JS, van Santbrink EJ, van der Westerlaken LA, Cohlen BJ, Braat DD, Smeenk...

    Link to PubMed


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